President Joe Biden held a meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, the White House said.
During the meeting, the heads of the United States and Finland discussed strengthening bilateral relations and ensuring a strong deterrence and defense potential in Northern Europe.
The leaders also discussed transatlantic coordination regarding the imposition of responsibility on Russia for the “unprovoked and unjustified military invasion of Ukraine,” as well as efforts to ensure security and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
The Presidents pledged to begin the process of strengthening U.S.-Finnish security cooperation, in close cooperation with other Nordic countries. The heads of state also discussed the importance of NATO’s open door policy and ensuring energy security.
Earlier in February, official Helsinki received a letter from Russia with an urgent request to provide the Kremlin with security guarantees from OSCE countries, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said.
He also said that the Finnish government is preparing a response. Finland, which has a long common border with the Russian Federation, is also a member of the OSCE, but is not a member of NATO.
“The letter says that, according to Russia, the West is strengthening its security at the expense of Russia. It is obvious that the West holds a completely different opinion,” Haavisto explained to journalists, speaking in Helsinki.
The letter on behalf of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also asked whether Finland plans to comply with its obligations “not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others.” On Sunday, Lavrov, speaking on Russian television, said that the Kremlin had sent letters with this issue to NATO and OSCE members. This was reported by the state agency TASS, also saying that a corresponding letter was sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, and that Russia is waiting for the reaction of the Finnish side.
At the press briefing, Haavisto also mentioned that the messages had been sent to all 57 OSCE member states, adding that it would now be quite natural to discuss with other EU countries possible options for responding to the letter.